The funds have come from other domestic health programs…
It is NOT unusual from administrations to shift money around to different places then Congress said to spend it….
The Biden admin has made sure to take good care of over 20,000 migrant children in a better and safer manner than the Trump admin ….
On its own, the $2.13 billion in diverted money exceeds the government’s annual budget for the unaccompanied children program in each of the last two fiscal years. It is also far above the roughly half-billion dollars that the Trump administration shifted in 2018 toward sheltering a migrant child population that had swelled as a result of its strict immigration policies, including separating children from adults at the border.
In addition to transferring money from the Strategic National Stockpile and Covid-19 testing, HHS also has pulled roughly $436 million from a range of existing health initiatives across the department.
“They’ve been in a situation of needing to very rapidly expand capacity, and emergency capacity is much more expensive,” said Mark Greenberg, a senior fellow at the Migration Policy Institute who led HHS’ Administration for Children and Families from 2013 to 2015. “You can’t just say there’s going to be a waiting list or we’re going to shut off intake. There’s literally not a choice.”
HHS spokesperson Mark Weber told POLITICO that the department has worked closely with the Office of Management and Budget to find ways to keep its unaccompanied minor operation funded in the face of rising costs.
“All options are on the table,” he said, adding that HHS has traditionally sought to pull funding from parts of the department where the money is not immediately needed. “This program has relied, year after year, on the transfer of funds.”…
Those dynamics are expected to hold for at least the next couple months, as hundreds of new unaccompanied minors arrive at the border daily and are transferred into the health department’s care.
And with no indication so far that the Biden administration will seek new emergency border aid from Congress, that means HHS’ expenses are only likely to balloon further, forcing additional costly transfers within the department.
“It’s going to be expensive,” [ who ran the Office of Refugee Resettlement from 2015 to 2017,] Carey said. “I can’t think of a situation that’s more complex than this.”….